A second international airport in Istanbul, located in the Asian part of the city, opened for the first two arrival flights on January 8th, before a full operational opening in the spring.
The airport is to be opened to domestic flights later in January and to international flights in April or May.
The airport is called Sabiha Gokcen after the first Turkish woman pilot who flew in the 1920s, and it will have capacity for 10 million passengers per year.
The airport, expected to cost a total of $10 billion, is part of a vast complex planned by the armed forces known as the "industrial high-technology park", comprising workshops for maintenance for foreign airliners and technical facilities for modernization of the Turkish air force.
The Ataturk airport, in the European part of Istanbul, was modernized and extended in January 1999 and has capacity of 14 million passengers per year. — (AFP, Istanbul)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )